Sunday, August 5, 2012

Flea Market finds

Saturday we met our friends from Pittsburgh in Hazen, PA for the Hazen Flea Market. It was HUGE, and we managed to come home with a few good finds! 

We can also highly recommend Dirty Ehrma's in Brookville, PA for some delicious and original food!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Here is a little tour of the house as-purchased. It needs a LOT of work, but that's all the fun! I'm excited to make it our own... 
Front view of house
Front view of house
Side view of house & deck
Back view of house
Driveway side view of house
Dining room
Basement stairs from bathroom

Living room from dining room
Living room

This room was considered a 3rd bedroom in the real estate listing, but will become my office & laundry room
View of the front/side yard and deck from the office/laundry room
Stairs to 2nd floor from dining room
Crude "closet" at the top of the stairs
Larger of the bedrooms
Walk-in closet off the larger bedroom
Second bedroom
Unfinished attic space that will someday become the master bedroom
Our barn!
Upper level of the barn
Upper level of the barn
One of the many birds nests in the barn
Lower level of the barn
Lower level of the barn, perfect for storing the cars for winter!
A whole pile of star bricks!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Home Buying Timeline

This is the tale of our first house... enjoy!

Friday 2/10/12 
Ryan and I began the house hunting / home buying process by applying for mortgage pre-approval at his credit union.

We were approved, received our pre-approval letter, and began the hunt! The following weeks were spent occasionally driving past new listings that came up, and subsequently dismissing all of them.

Thursday 5/31/12 
I got a text from a friend telling me she and her boyfriend put an offer in on a house (which unfortunately for them did not work out), which reminded me I hadn't seen any new listings recently, so I got on our listing site and revised our search criteria, resulting in 10 new listings. We quickly ruled out the majority, and then went for a drive to check out the 4 we thought had any potential. We narrowed it down to 1 strong contender & 1 potential backup. Both homes were vacant, so we spent a good amount of time walking around the yards of both weighing our options, what work might be needed, etc.

Saturday 6/2/12 3:00 pm 
We made an appointment to see our 1st choice house with our realtor, Jon Dushaw. Mom & Ted came with in order to give us a 2nd opinion. The verdict was the lot was great, but the house will need a lot of work (although not immediately, so we could do the work over time). Mom & Ted were skeptical, but Ryan and I believed in the potential, and we also knew that for our budget we were only going to get 2/3 of location, lot, and house, and the house is the easiest one to remedy...

Tuesday 6/5/12 
We thought about it over the weekend, and made our first offer on the house, followed by an exhausting week of counter offers...

Wednesday 6/13/12 7:59 am 
Received a text from our realtor, the sellers accepted our offer! Now we have to await receipt of contract and continue with the process...

Thursday 6/14/12 4:30 pm 
Contract signed, sent to seller for signatures..

Monday 6/18/12
Signed contract returned from sellers! We now have 15 days for home inspection and to go back with any issues found... let the stress begin!

Wednesday 6/20/12 
Well inspection completed by Todd Fantaskey, should get the report back in a week.

Thursday 6/21/12 3:30 pm 
Home inspection...Ryan and I were both present for the inspection so we could see any issues for ourselves, as well as ask lots of questions! We were aware of the majority of the issues already, but the inspector found quite a few others as well. Nothing very major, but enough to warrant some estimates in order to go back to the sellers for negotiating purposes.
  • Strong sulfur smell in the water, so we called Culligan to come out and see what can be done. They recommended a $3500 replacement system to take care of all of the issues. We also contacted a place in Meadville to come give us a second opinion.
  • Lots of little electrical issues, called Scott Hickey to come and give us an estimate on what it would cost to repair. For just the minor issues (not a full redo of the house) he estimated $2000.
  • Some structural issues (roof, floor beams, decommissioned chimney),We had Ryan's old boss Tim Fields come out to give us an estimate, which came back at $11,840.
    • Things that need addressed immediately:
      • Remove chimney & patch roof
      • Run new gas line to stove & boiler
      • Run new gas line for dryer and vent to outside
      • Fix electrical box issues (2 new breakers, separate doubled connections)
Home inspector: Doug Hert 814-726-2662
Friday 6/22/12
Met Ericka at credit union to sign mortgage papers.

Met inspector at his office to go over inspection report.

Saturday 6/23/12 
Ordered new Samsung washer & dryer from Best Buy with 18 months free financing, saved $560!

3.7 cu. ft. High Efficiency VRT™ Steam Front Load Washer (Neat White)
7.3 cu. ft. Capacity Gas Steam Dryer (Neat White)

Saturday 6/30/12
Mom & I drove up to Erie to pick up the new washer & dryer (and a little retail therapy). They now sit in Mom's basement until we move in... Can't wait to use them!

Tuesday 7/3/12
Submitted response to seller based on inspections. The total of all estimates was over $17,000, so we decided to ask for $10,000 cash at closing, which we thought was more than fair. The seller's agent came back with a negative response, insinuating we wanted the money for remodeling, and we went back and forth with dollar amounts and finally settled on $6500 cash at closing, which was lower than we would have liked but are OK with it.

Thursday 7/5/12
Received Good Faith Estimate from mortgage company, signed and returned.

Friday 7/6/12
Appraisal ordered by mortgage company, unsure of date it will be conducted yet.

We had a company from Meadville come out to give us a 2nd opinion on the water situation. The girl who came out did a very thorough test on the water, both before and after it went through the existing softener. She gave us prices on what they recommend, which were 2x to 3x the price of the Culligan system. Unfortunately that kind of money just isn't in the budget at the moment, so we'll have to explore other options...  Google here I come!

We found a lot of options online, but it's hard to decide without knowing anything about any of them. I found a plumbing forum and made a post on there and received a few suggestions for things to try before buying new equipment, so we'll be trying those out in the time between getting the keys and moving in, maybe we won't need new equipment after all!?

Monday 7/9/12
Signed inspection response agreement, and now we wait for the appraisal... 

Thursday 7/12/12
Appraisal received, and over purchase price! Now we wait for paperwork, lawyers, etc. We close in 15 days!!!

Wednesday 7/25/12
Received the commitment letter from the bank! Now we just have to wait for Jon to set a closing date with the lawyers, it won't be the 27th as originally scheduled, but hopefully early the following week... so exciting!!!

A big shout-out to our fabulous insurance agent Christi Dipenti with Nationwide / Voty Insurance for all her help!

Thursday 8/2/12
We closed today! Now the work begins... :)